If It Wasn't For Hard Luck, We'd Have No Luck At All


ff_des_icon.gif ff_silas_icon.gif

Scene Title If It Wasn't For Hard Luck, We'd Have No Luck At All
Synopsis Silas reaches out to Des to get a better lay of the land.
Date December 24, 2018

The Ark - A-Ring

Silas's first full day on the Ark after the 'welcoming banquet' has been, surprisingly, not completely horrible. Yes, he was roused early. Yes, it was Ark Security that roused him, and yes the's been drafted him into work. Yes, he's basically stuck in a cult compound as low man on the totem pole, working under the gaze of jackbooted goons and a dictator who's probably about 60% cuckoo. Yes, his power is seemingly gone. Yes, most of the people he knows will never see him again, and yes, a good friend of his is currently in the brig and he's not a hundred percent sure she isn't going to do… something rash.

And yes, it's that damn awful day again.


He's still alive. Most of the travellers are also still alive, and the last he heard Remi was in good (physical) condition. And even though Silas has been press-ganged into work, he's been press-ganged into work in a kitchen, and they seem to be short-staffed enough that there's actual opportunity to make some headway if he's willing to work — which he absolutely is. Also, against all odds, the people he's working with seem to generally be decent human beings. Maybe Asi's pearl is still bringing him good luck.

Work, at least, is not completely horrible; he's survived his first day of it, made what he's reasonably sure is a good impression on his coworkers through hard work, a well-practiced smile, and a smattering of terribly corny jokes. Now, he's got some time to kill, a small bag of kitchen goodies, and a handful of ideas buzzing around his head.

Silas has some ideas on where to go, what to do… and at the top of his list for a number of reasons is a conversation with Destiny Ruiz.

It helps that Destiny was a denizen of the Commonwealth Arcology for years. Asking after her prove fruitful, as residents are able to say where they last saw her, or point him to someone who might know. Eventually, his search brings him to the laundry, where the young lady is hanging damp clothes up on a line to dry out. That the room is empty is by her request. She’s in an awful state and others are giving her the space and the time alone to allow her to go through her emotions.

There’s been a lot of spontaneous crying throughout the day, but it’s improved since a really good cry at lunch with Santa. Now, Destiny’s eyes are red and puffy from it all, with dark circles beneath, but she’s free from her sniffling and wailing. There’s a sort of dedication with which she works. The distraction seems to help.

There’s recognition when she looks up from her basket of wet linens and catches sight of Silas in the doorway. “Oh,” she says softly and offers a small smile. Though the previous evening is a haze of screaming and tears and blood, she remembers his concern. “Hello. Did they send you down here to work laundry? Or… are you lost?”

"Nah," Silas says with a small smile. "They put me on kitchen duty, first shift. Small blessing; got off not too long ago." He gives a shrug. "The people here aren't bad, you know? After last night, I was expecting the worst, but… a lot of 'em seem like folks I could get along with."

Silas shrugs, his attention returning to Des. "Main reason I'm here is because I was hoping to catch up with you for a bit, though… if you've got time, I mean," he adds, glancing around and noticing that she seems to be working alone. He frowns, looking a bit concerned. He raises the small bag; something in there smells sugary, and there's already a few grease stains on the bag. "I brought some leftovers, if you're hungry?" He doesn't say 'I brought my cooking experiment'; leftovers sounds better.

“Kitchen’s fun. But I always have to do the dishes.” Des wrinkles her nose. She’s not a good cook, and just about everybody knows that. She eyes the bag a moment, uncertain if she wants to partake, but stale animal crackers are all she had for lunch, and grief can’t overcome her body’s need for sustenance.

Setting her work aside, she makes her approach and takes the bag, peeking inside. Finding the sugary rice cakes inside, she reaches in and takes one out for an experimental bite. She doesn’t quite manage a smile, but there’s a hum of satisfaction all the same. “Thank you.”

Silas smiles, pleased. Dessert really isn't his forte as a cook, so it's good to get some positive feedback. "Anytime," he says. Sadly, though, delivering sweets isn't the reason he's here. Welp. Might as well get on with it, then, he sighs. This part of the conversation isn't one he's looking forward to, but some things need to be said.

"So… there's a couple of reasons I was wantin' to talk with you. 'Fore I go into any of that, though… how're you holdin' up? After…" he starts, then trails off; he's reasonably sure she knows damn well what after he's referring to. "I didn't know your Dad very well, but I've heard of him once or twice. He seemed like a decent guy. I'm… sorry as hell about what happened last night," he finishes, looking down.

Des swallows a bite of her dessert, looking very solemn and possibly on the verge of tears again. Ultimately, she holds it together and nods a little shakily. “I guess I’m as okay as I’m supposed to be,” she offers with an expression that she hopes was the second-long smile she intended it to be.

“You don’t have to… I mean, I appreciate it.” The asking after her and the kind words. Des looks down at her shoes for the length of time it takes her to chew and swallow another bite. “What is it you really wanted to talk about?” She catches herself with a grimace. “Not that I don’t think you really didn’t mean what you said. I know you… care.” Because that’s what people do, they care about each other.

Silas's protest is forestalled before it can happen; he studies her for a moment, then nods slowly and… moves on, as she's asked. "Alright. There were some other things, actually. Some of the people I asked to point me in your direction mentioned that they'd seen you with Doyle earlier; how does he seem like he's holding up? I didn't know Meredith all that well, either, but… she was kind to me. Helped me out after I, ah, took an unexpected swim," he says, flashing a mildly sheepish smile for a moment before his face returns to a more solemn expression. "I was thinking about maybe paying him a visit later. I wanted to try to… pay her back, I guess? Honor her memory?" He shakes his head irritably, a bit frustrated at his own inability to convey what he's going for. If he'd been lying, he could've delivered that line dead straight, but actually saying it honestly is… surprisingly hard.

"Beyond that, though…" he begins, then falls silent for a moment, considering. "I wanted to ask you about the Ark. You… you came from here?" he says, his uncertainty making it more of a question than an assertion. "I'm trying to learn all that I can about this place. The Ark itself, and the people who live here. What you think of them. Who you'd trust. Your thoughts on the dinner guests, your thoughts on Michelle Cardinal, how you left this place… anything that can help."

His earlier awkwardness seems to have been left behind altogether, replaced by an intent, focused expression. "I feel like I'm drowning here; I barely even know what questions to ask. I'm trying to pick up as much as I can on my own; normally I'd know more before I bothered you, but…piecing stuff like this together takes time," he admits, grimacing. "And I think it might be better to assume that time is going to be in short supply."

He looks over to the laundry, then back to Des. "Maybe I can help with the laundry in return? Fair's fair…"

“Eric’s… Hurting. We both are. I’m not sure he’s ready to talk about her yet, but I’m sure he’d appreciate some nice words.” Des smiles faintly, having finished her treat while Silas spoke. She turns back to her basket and goes back to her work while she responds.

“I lived here for almost three years, until very recently. As far as who to trust? I think anyone here can be trusted. They’re all good people.” She said that with a completely straight face and no trace of irony. Either she’s the greatest liar Silas has ever encountered, or Destiny’s faith in other people has made her naive to the extreme. Maybe it’s a bit of both. “If you don’t start any trouble, you’ll be treated fairly.”

Trouble like what happened last night. Apparently questioning Don is on the list of forbidden things.

Des reaches up and rubs at her ear a little, like maybe it’s bothering her. With the hit she took last night, it’s not surprising that her head might be hurting today. “If you’re looking for someone who can tell you more about what’s happened since I’ve been gone, I’d talk to Roux or Nathalie. They’re really nice.” Her head ducks as she reaches to grab another sheet and start pinning it in place on the line, standing on her tiptoes to reach. “Find your place, where you fit in. That’s your best course of action, I think. It’s not so bad here.”

Silas's expression flattens very slightly as Des speaks. He's got a very, very good poker face, but wow. Anyone else, under virtually any other circumstances, he would have called on the spot for saying something like that. Had Meredith caused trouble? Had Geneva? Had Jasper?

And it's not so bad here?

Those lines are right up there with Don's I'm not a monster. Arguably worse; Don's megalomaniacal and maybe delusional, but this seems like Stockholm Syndrome. Or like those guys who drank the Kool-Aid at Waco or whatever.

Silas just stares at Des at first, too stunned to figure out how to react… then, after a moment, he raises his hands and scrubs them down his face, exhaling. If you discount last night… if you discount Don and his goon squad opening fire on unarmed guests, and the sense that this whole place is slowly shuffling on a slow downward spiral into a rustheap… maybe. Maybe I could buy that. The kitchen crew wasn't bad, I'll admit it. But… good grief, kid.

He doesn't shake his head, although the temptation is strong; instead, he takes a moment to think about the names Des had dropped. Nathalie and Roux. Roux was the one that Magnes had lit up at the banquet during his stupid rant. Nathalie was the one who'd started shuffling them out of the banquet hall after Don's Big Bloody Sunday Night massacre. Hmmm. Miles'll probably be chatting up Nathalie. Maybe I'll go pay Miss Roux a visit later on, he thinks. He eyes Destiny for a moment longer, debating asking her a couple more questions… but he's getting the definite impression that Des has said about all that she's comfortable with, and the last thing he wants to do is press further after the misery she had dumped on her yesterday.

Maybe she's got the right idea, too. Don's the one holding all the cards here; until Silas is sure he's figured out what's what, he's definitely going to need to take things very carefully. Otherwise I might wind up pulling a Magnes and getting people killed, Silas thinks to himself, and that draws a grimace.

"Maybe you're right, Des," he says slowly, a deep weariness in his voice that isn't entirely affected. "The kitchen crew seem like good people, at least. And I think a lot of the people I met while I was wandering the halls looking for you were a little worried about you. They seem like decent people, too, for the most part," he chuckles ruefully, picking up the somewhat lighter bag of sweets. "Alright. Well. If you think of anything else, let me know, otherwise… I'll leave you to your laundry."

He takes a step towards the door, then hesitates. "And don't hesitate to hit me up if I'm on lunch duty. I'ma try to make more of these… er… ricethings," he says, offering a momentary grin.

It’s unclear just how accurate Silas’ suspicions about Des are. She seems to relax a fraction when he doesn’t press her more about who it’s safe to approach and the like. She tugs at her ear one more time as she nods in silent acknowledgement.

“That’d be nice,” she says softly about the offer of more sweets. “I hope you find your place here,” she repeats, like that’s meaningful. “I think it’s important that we all be good to each other right now.” Des keeps her gaze on him, steady.

Silas's head tilts just a fraction of a degree. Something about her manner now makes him wonder if there might be something more to her talk of finding his place than is immediately apparent. What she says next, though, draws a real smile to his face. "Yeah… down here, we're all we've got, right? Any of us."

He takes a deep breath, a corny old riddle coming to mind unbidden. How does a seer see? With his eyes. So how do you find your place, then? Perhaps by looking. Maybe not a bad idea, come to that. "Maybe… maybe I'll go wander over and pay Doyle a visit, then see if I can track down Miss Roux," he says, smiling. "I think she might have a bad impression of us, and I really would hate to leave her with that."

“I think that’s an excellent idea.” Des offers a smile that’s short-lived. She still can’t manage her usual cheer for very long. “I’m sure I’ll see you around. Take care, sir.” Blue eyes glance toward the doorway briefly, then settle back on Silas before she finally turns back to her basket of laundry.

Silas's eyes narrow just a bit in consideration. There are a few different ways to read that little glance towards the door.

A polite suggestion to leave is one of them.

There's someone out there, is another.

But the one Silas thinks the most likely in this situation is, we're being eavesdropped on. Or maybe just that it's possible.

Either way, if Des is worried about being watched, then her sudden case of Stockholm Syndrome makes a bit more sense. Ugh. Careless, he thinks, annoyed at himself. Silas hadn't seen anyone in particular stalking him… but maybe they didn't need to. They've got an anti-Miles who can just pop around at will, too.

He's not used to having to worry about people overhearing him when he doesn't want them to; his trick generally handles that nicely. But he doesn't have his trick right now… and Don's guys still have all of theirs. He doesn't think he's said anything too suspicious, at least; he was trying to be at least somewhat careful. Maybe, maybe not. Depends on where their bar for 'suspicious' is. Destiny, at least, doesn't seem entirely sure that his level of caution is sufficient; maybe something to keep in mind.

"You too, Des. You too," he says, and turns to take his leave. "See ya later!"

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